Partnerships and Collaborations
An important part of my role is to ensure community needs are met as effectively as possible. Improving local relationships through building confidence and restoring trust have been essential to this. My Office has been working in partnership across a range of agencies at local and national level to ensure there is a unified approach to preventing and reducing crime.
Lancashire Violence Reduction Network (LVRN)
I have continued to work closely with the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network (LVRN) which I secured ongoing funding for last year to enable its work to continue until 2025, aiming to prevent and reduce violent crime across Lancashire.
The LVRN brings together partners across policing, local government, education, health and a range of other organisations ensuring we have a joined-up approach to addressing violent crime, engage in preventative work and also support Lancashire Constabulary in operational enforcement to address hot spots and put offenders behind bars.
Areas identified through recorded incidents of crime have seen a target hardening approach, with increased uniform presence and disruption activity. Between October 2022 and December 2022 all areas showed an overall decrease in all crime and specifically serious violence.
Other notable activity:
- In November 2022 LVRN hosted a national conference for all partners and similar partnerships tackling violent crime.
- Divert programme, rebranded as Champions Lancashire, is building on the success of the innovative programme supporting young people across the county.
- Lancashire Champions Adult Project reached 414 young people aged 18-25 between April and December 2022.
Targeted patrols have been conducted of 20 serious violence hotspots under Operation GRIP, a combination of knife crime education, community engagement and enforcement activity led by our LVRN. A 13% reduction of all crime and 21% reduction of serious violence was observed in hotspots compared with the same period in the previous year.
Grip funding awarded to me and utilised by the LVRN has helped deliver Operation Sceptre, the twice-yearly intensified activity to tackle knife crime and keep people safe. In November 2022 alone 1390 dangerous weapons were removed from the streets.
By increasing enforcement whilst also focusing on prevention and educating young people on the dangers carrying knives, we will make Lancashire’s streets safer and ultimately, save lives.
Lancashire Criminal Justice Board
In 2021 Deputy Andy Pratt MBE took on the role of Chair of the Lancashire Criminal Justice Board, bringing together criminal justice organisations at police force area level to support joint working and improve services. The purpose and vision of the LCJB is to reduce crime, harm and risk by increasing the efficiency and credibility of the Criminal Justice System and therefore ensuring better outcomes for victims.
Serious Violence Duty
The Serious Violence Duty (the Duty) came into force on 31st January 2023 through the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
The duty ensures serious violence is a priority for Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) and requires Specified Authorities to collaborate to prevent and reduce serious violence.
- Youth Justice
- Fire and Rescue
- Local Authorities
Prison and Education Authorities are known as Relevant Authorities who are able to co-operate with Specified Authorities as necessary.
Whilst I am not a duty holder, the PCC has an important role to play as lead convener. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner intends to convene all specified and relevant authorities to commit to a Lancashire Serious Violence definition and the Lancashire Serious Violence and Community Safety Board.
Community Safety Partnerships
My Office attends Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs) across Lancashire to share intelligence and look at better ways of working together across a range of agencies to tackle local issues.
I have strengthened relationships with Crimestoppers, and I’m committed to increasing anonymous reports through the national organisation to help in our fight against crime.
I’m pleased to report that 2022/23 saw a record number of year on- year reports of 7,387 and March 2023 seeing the most reports through Crimestoppers in Lancashire ever. This follows placing Crimestoppers as a key call to action in my Operation Warrior campaign, aimed at disrupting and dismantling organised crime gangs.
The LVRN worked with survivors and perpetrators all with lived experience of domestic abuse and violence, as members co-created a picture story book to use with individuals/groups to understand the impact of DAV.
Lancashire Police Museum
Lancashire Police Museum officially opened to the public in June 2022.
The new museum, housed in a former prison wing at the historic Lancaster Castle, is a partnership between my Office, Lancashire Constabulary and the Duchy of Lancaster.
The museum features 16 fascinating exhibits each housed within a prison cell. Displays detail the history of Lancashire Constabulary, Police training, forensic development – including how some very famous local cases were solved – and an overview of some of the different police departments including the mounted branch, dog unit, underwater search unit and firearms.
The Museum has been in development for a number of years and is now an excellent resource for the county and provides the opportunity to educate people on how policing has changed, to learn more about their local police force and the challenges of policing today, as well as discovering more about its rich and proud history.
Throughout the year I have visited every prison across Lancashire to build up those partnerships that are integral to a successful justice system and also make progress on my priorities, such as tackling reoffending.
During visits to prisons including HMP Wymott, Lancaster Farms, Kirkham and Preston, I have held discussions with Governors and others working within the prison system on how we work together to address reoffending and breaking that cycle to make Lancashire safer.
It’s absolutely right that criminals are punished appropriately and suffer the consequences for their crimes, however we also need to work together to ensure those sent to prison have the support they need when they are released to be fully productive and good members of society.
This includes support for addiction, engagement to reintegrate back into our communities and targeted work to encourage ex-offenders to not return into the criminal justice system again.
Building these relationships is an important part of our wider work around criminal justice, including my Deputy Commissioner Andy Pratt MBE’s role as Chair of the Lancashire Criminal Justice Board and the work of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network.
In 2022/23 I became the national Lead Commissioner for Technology and Digital, working with the Home Office, National Police Chief’s Council and others to improve policing through better use of technology, digital capabilities and data. I have also taken up as Chair of Council at the North West Cyber Resilience Centre, became Director of the Police Digital Service and sit on key national bodies such as the Public Safety Commissioning Board and the Strategic Change and Investment Board at the Home Office.
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